I don’t know about you but I’m tired of every time we try to do something as a family my children are half there. We share their time with cell phones, texting, iPods, video games, etc. The list can go on and on because they are always hooked up to something.
My husband and I both grew up playing pool and still enjoy it today. We were at a student union a couple of weeks ago and decided to challenge our boys to a game of pool. Needless to say we “old folks” won the match but it sparked an interest in our kids and it was good, clean, unplugged time for us to talk and have fun. On the way home we started discussing the possibility of a billiards table in our home. It would be a big investment and we want to make an informed decision so decided to do a little research before we decided yes or no.
We found out that billiards evolved from a game that was played outside in the grass and was similar to croquet. Around the 15th century in Northern Europe the game was moved indoors to a wooden table that was covered in green cloth to appear like grass. A border was placed around the edges and the balls were shoved, not struck with wooden sticks. Kings as well as commoners played the game and as its popularity grew and so did the many changes in the game to come, as we know it today.
Billiards has changed over the years but today there are common sizes and games to play but still there are many things to think about when purchasing a billiards table. The first and most important is space. If you don’t have the space, don’t waste your money on purchasing a table. The regulation-size pool tables are twice as long as wide and come in lengths of 7’, 8’, oversized 8’ and a tournament size of 9’. The common size for homeowners is 8’ but then you have to take into consideration to allow at least 4-6 feet around the table so the shooter can hit the ball properly without maneuvering around walls, columns, or other pieces of furniture.
Billiards rooms are commonly placed in home plans with basements. This is usually due to space constraints but also helps with blocking out direct sunlight so there is not a glare when trying to shoot the ball. Once the sun is out of the way it is important to supply light that hangs over the table. Make sure you don’t hang it too low that you bump your head or too high that you stare into bare bulbs. A great rule of thumb is about 3’ above the table.
The bed, or horizontal playing surface of pool tables, is typically made of finely ground slabs of slate. The rails are made of wood and then covered with cushion rubber so the balls will rebound off the rubber. On top of the slate and rubber a billiard cloth made wool is placed. This is stretched tightly so there are no bumps or gaps in the material and the playing surface is nice and smooth. The wools are available in all colors including the most popular green, but also I’ve seen blue and red. I’m sure there are many others but these seem to be the most common. Make sure when you purchase chalk for your cue sticks that the color of the chalk matches the table.
Other things to think about when setting up a billiards table are a place for people to sit and watch the game. Low chairs don’t really work because you cannot see the table. High bar stools are great but make sure they are comfortable and match the overall style and material of the table. When painting the walls around that table the colors should blend, not clash.
There are many other accessories that come with a pool table and it is important to have a proper home for them. These include a rack for your cue sticks, spare balls, chalk, space cue tips, talc, tip scuffers, triangle and cue extensions for those hard to reach shots. Make sure you have a cabinet to hold these items or at least a way to get them out of the way when shooting pool.
Your billiards room can simply be a room to shoot pool or you can go all out and create a perfect billiards room complete with wet bar, fridge, microwave, ping pong, entertainment system including stereo and flat screen and of course you can’t leave out the neon tavern signs and lights.
I think after researching billiards we as a family are excited to get going on this new addition to our home design. Before we do anything visiting some more places with billiards is the perfect place to get ideas. Next would be to venture into some stores to see what our budget will be. After that picking the colors, painting the walls, laying the carpet and waiting for the table to arrive will be exciting for all of us. We will start simple, add items and soon have the perfect billiards room and a great place to enjoy good old time fun with family and friends.Pin It